July 13, 2021
Dr. Onome Abiri
The Head of Pharmacoviilance and Clinical Trials Department at the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone (PBSL), Dr. Onome Abiri, has in an interview with Radio Mount Aureole on F.M 107.3 said one of the core mandates of PBSL is to ensure that medicines on the market are safe and efficacious for public consumption.
Dr. Onome made this statement while justifying the just concluded countrywide adverse drug reactions reporting (ADR) sensitization undertaken by PBSL with support from the Global Fund.
“PBSL has the mandate to regulate the effectiveness, safety and quality of medicines in Sierra Leone, and when we talk about the side effects of medicines or adverse drug reactions, it falls within the responsibilities of PBSL. As a result, we always ensure that medicines on the market are safe, but also we do quality control analysis and withdraw medicines of questionable characteristics based on the complaints that we receive from the public,” he explained.
Onome disclosed that PBSL conducted a feasibility study which showed that a good number of people in Sierra Leone especially those that are in the deprived communities are not informed about the medicines safety program and that even when they encounter adverse drug reactions from medicines, they suffer in silence because they are unaware of the fact that they should report cases of that nature to Pharmacy Board or medical practitioners in hospitals.
He added that the issues of counterfeit medicine and drug peddling were also among the findings of the study which was why PBSL conducted the countrywide sensitization campaign.
“Our sensitization engaged district health medical teams (DHMT) which consists of Doctors, Nurses, Community health officers on the detection of adverse drugs reactions in patients, and we also engaged the community people to sensitize them on the existent of medicines safety program at PBSL and the need to report if they encounter adverse drug reactions from any medicine that they consume,” he said.
He concluded by stating that one of the commitments that PBSL got from the Chiefs and community people was that they would never buy drugs from peddlers and that going forward, they would report on adverse drug reactions of any medicine to either PBSL, Doctors and other health care professionals.